top of page
The North Laine Book - a first in the history of Brighton

The first-ever detailed history of the vibrant heart of Brighton is brought to life by photos and memories of many of its residents in The North Laine Book.

It tells the story of the transformation of the North Laine from agricultural land into a Victorian powerhouse of industry and commerce amongst rows of terraced housing. The book follows the changing fortunes of the area, including the threat of large-scale demolition after WW2, and the declaration of the North Laine as a conservation area in the 1970s.

Featuring interviews with residents, the book paints vivid pictures of life in the North Laine:


“The dustmen of those days had the right name. They used to be filthy, mostly because of all the ash they collected. They would walk right into the house, through the passage (no one had ‘halls’ in those days) with the bin on their shoulders, ripping what wallpaper was there…”

Violet Pumphrey talking about the 1930s

“I remember walking through Jubilee Street on the way to work as Walter & Lynn’s were smoking their bacon joints… The smell of bacon mingling with the smells of the firm making milk crates, and that of paint spraying from Newman’s the car dealers, made for a heady mixture…”

Terry Etherton on North Laine in the late 1950s


Available for £10.00 from:​

  • Raining Books, 28 Trafalgar Street, Brighton

You can also buy direct from us – contact

– or at any North Laine Community Association monthly meeting
(see list of dates here)

bottom of page